For months, millions of people across the country have been holding their breath, wondering whether the U.S. Supreme Court would take away the affordable health care we all fought so hard to make the law of the land.
June 25, the collective exhale of 8 million, 1.4 million of those in Florida, was heard as the Court sided with the government in King vs. Burwell. The case could have resulted in millions losing their tax subsidies to help pay for health insurance.
With this 6-3 decision shoring up the Affordable Care Act, attention now turns to full implementation of ACA in states (like Florida) whose Republican leadership has resisted Obamacare in any and all forms.
For us, that means getting Medicaid expanded to the nearly one million people who fall in the health coverage gap (ie., they make too much to qualify under current rules, but too little to afford the insurance).
This past legislative session, the Florida House and Gov. Rick Scott refused to take up the Senate’s conservative plan to expand health coverage. Instead, they dipped into state coffers to cover a portion of the funds that go to hospitals that treat low income populations. Expanding Medicaid would have solved that problem.
Another good effect of the Supreme Court decision is that the Scott administration announced it is dropping its lawsuit against the federal government on LIP funds for hospitals.
But with the next legislative session set to begin in January just as the presidential primaries get underway, all eyes will be on Florida in this high stakes battle over health care. As always, we’ll be on the front lines, advocating for patients.